Zoe Washburne knew this was a terrible, reckless idea which is exactly why she was going on this particular, personal mission alone. Over the last few weeks some ungodly virus began to spread through the 'verse and was causing the dead to rise right up out of the grave. Mal would have told her this was a suicide mission and tried to stop her. She always was, and will be, loyal to her captain, but right now she needed to honor what she considered one of her wifely duties.

When she landed on Mr. Universe's moon she knew she would have to put as much distance between the shuttle and herself as quickly possible or else she'd get overrun by these living-dead monsters when they were drawn in by the sound of the large engine and winds. Once the shuttle was no more than a dot on the horizon she reached the outskirts of the town and slowed her pace so she could pay acute attention to her surroundings.

The town was fairly new. It had been established only a few months after word had spread of Mr. Universe's death. Hell, it wasn't even called Mr. Universe's moon anymore, but Zoe refused to call it anything else. She'd been here several times since the town's erection, sometimes the rest of Serenity's crew would accompany her, but she usually liked to come alone.

When she reached the center of the town she stopped. The outskirts hadn't bothered her so much, but this spot was so silent it was eerie. She hadn't heard it this quiet since before the town was built. She hadn't realized how used to it's noise she had gotten. It was now, once again, completely devoid of life when usually it was bustling with people; frolicking children, your average shopper, crazy women buying dresses for their young daughters and entering them in child beauty pageants, plenty a man with a foul mouth filling the air with their shouts of vulgarities, and business men selling various things every which way you looked.

Once the deafening silence released its paralyzing grip on her she turned down a side street and continued on her way. She wasn't too far along the well-known street when she heard a snarling, gargling like sound coming from inside the shop to her right. When she reached for the door it was locked so she carefully climbed in through the smashed storefront window to go investigate.

The store was dark and dusty making it seem like it had been deserted for more than just a few weeks. She quietly made her way down one of the isles, knife in hand, carefully avoiding the tangled slinky's, dolls, and other toys that had fallen off the shelves. At the end of the isle she cautiously looked around into the next and that's when she saw it: A partially decayed corpse was ripping away the flesh of it's victim. Zoe quietly snuck up behind it and thrust her knife into the back of its head and twisted it before withdrawing the blade. The grotesque body fell face forward onto its meal. Now Zoe was able to see that the poor victim was no more than a young girl. Her body was still bleeding and her yellow-orange hair was being matted by the blood pouring out of her neck. Zoe's eyes lingered momentarily on the little girls hair before she pulled the retched monster off her lap so that the girl could rest in peace without her killer laying across her lap like some sick macabre painting.

As she pulled the monster off the girl she heard a soft tinkling sound that, in the silence, sounded way too loud and almost made her heart pound out of her chest. Once she discarded the corpse she looked over the little girl and saw the tinkling sound was made by a charm bracelet on the girls wrist. Zoe knelt down beside the girl and for a brief while she fingered the charms which were now soaked in the girls blood. There was a cat, a tiny horse, a fish, and a box. On the box charm there was a tiny button which, when Zoe pressed it, caused the lid of the box to pop open and project a hologram of an old couple doing the Hustle. She quickly snapped the box shut and placed the girls arm down. She needed to keep moving if she wanted to get back to the shuttle before it began to get dark.

One the mile walk from the store to her destination it was quiet except for her thoughts. She was beginning to wonder how Mal reacted to finding his second-in-command missing. Not only that but he would have known where she went and he was sure to be pretty pissed.
"射擊步槍在空氣中,而球深的號叫的豬!"* he had probably shouted when he found she'd taken Inara's shuttle and left the ship. "This is unbelievable!"

Jayne, who could always be counted on to say something inappropriate and offensive would have added, in the most serious voice he possessed, something along the lines of, "Like Asians who aren't good at math." Which most definitely would have earned him a look of contempt from Mal.

She couldn't worry about that right now, because she'd finally made it. There it was, the three tall stones in the ground, each with a holographic photo of who was buried there. Two of the graves were empty from the start, but the one that belonged to her late husband had not been. Now, however, the earth was upturned, claw-like scrapes were in the dirt surrounding the hole in the ground, and there were some bootprints in the loosened dirt that faded where the dirt got hard again.

She was too late. He could be anywhere on this moon by now, could have already been stopped by someone else when there were others still here. She sank to the ground, her back pressed against the gravestone, and she cried. She should have come sooner, as soon as this virus happened. Then maybe she would have been able to see him one last time, and she would have been there to stop him from mindlessly killing someone. She knew he would never want himself to suddenly run about killing people so she felt it was her duty, as his wife, to make it so that would never happen, but she was too late.

She no longer cared about getting back to the shuttle before nightfall. She no longer cared about anything, at the moment, she just wanted to get her feelings out in private while she still could. As she cried, however, she wasn't paying attention to her surroundings. When a hand clutched at her arm from behind the gravestone she was glad all those years of combat had kept her reflexes sharp. She yanked her arm away before her attacker could bite down on her flesh and she stepped back several feet as she drew her gun. A figure rose from the ground behind the gravestone and she needed to blink several times to clear away the tears before she could see properly.

There he was. Her husband was shuffling toward her. He was covered in dirt, his hair was matted and there were plenty of spots where it had fallen out completely by now. He was hunched forward, his body no longer with enough support for him to be upright. His stomach had caved in and he was almost nothing but thin, ripped, dirty skin covering some bones. The clothes he wore hung so loosely on him it made him look like a child in adults clothing.

"Wash? Are you still in there? It's me, Baby. It's Zoe." she called to him. He didn't stop. "Please, baby, you've got to be in there somewhere, can you hear me? It's me, love. It's me." Not even a hint of recognition crossed his face as he shuffled toward her faster.

Zoe holstered her gun and let him come at her. When he lunged at her, hands reaching for her throat, she grabbed him. He thrashed against her and she wrestled him to the ground. She wrapped one arm around his neck so he couldn't turn his head to bite her and held both of his hands in hers so that he wouldn't scratch her. She was surprised at how much strength he had, he almost seemed stronger now than he did when he was alive.

"I'm sorry, Wash." she whispered. "I'm so sorry." She made sure she had both his wrists held down tight with her left hand before she let go with her right and began stroking his sunken in cheek. He snarled at her and thrashed, but she had him held tight.

"We were supposed to grow old together." She said to him. "Remember that baby you always wanted? Well, we had one. I'm just sorry you'll never get to meet her. She's so beautiful, looks just like you. Red hair and all." she laughed lightly before her laugh gave way to a choked cry and her tears returned.

"I know this isn't what you want. You never wanted to hurt people." she whispered. He thrashed again, almost as if he understood and was protesting that he did in fact want to. "It's okay, love, I gotcha." she stroked his hair and sighed. "I just came here to help you."

She felt sick. She couldn't believe she was doing this. What kind of creator could ever allow such a thing to happen?

She pulled the gun out of the holster on her hip and placed the barrel of the gun against the side of her late husbands head. He began thrashing around, harder than before, almost as if some survival instinct kicked in. He jerked his torso and tried twisting his head around to bite her, but she had him too tight.

"I love you." she whispered before she pulled the trigger.

* translates to: Firing a rifle into the air while balls deep in a squealing hog.

NOTE: This was written for a contest prompt on tumblr. The idea was to write a fic using the given fandom (firefly) and trope (zombies). You needed to include words from the 'cards against humanity' game in the fic (the given words being different for each prompt).